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Public Health preparing for changes in food service inspections

June 26, 2007

ATLANTA (GA) – Changes to the way restaurants are graded and the way those grades are posted were approved by the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) Board earlier this year, and staff are hard at work preparing to implement those changes. One of the changes is that a letter grade and a numeric score from the latest, as well as the two most recent restaurant inspections, must be posted. The form must be visible within 15 feet of the main entrance to the restaurant, as well as on drive-through windows. More than 400 food establishment inspectors in all 159 Georgia counties have been trained about the changes to the way Georgia restaurants are graded and the way those grades are posted at restaurants.

The changes to Georgia’s Food Code that will become effective December 1, 2007, were modeled in large part after the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2005 Food Code. "One key aspect of the change is that all inspection forms and the process for inspecting restaurants will be the same all over the state. The statewide trainings are designed to standardize the way food inspections are carried out in each county," said Stuart Brown, M.D., director of DHR’s Division of Public Health. "Additionally, each public health district will have at least one inspector who is charged with ensuring that all inspections are handled in the same, consistent manner," said Brown.

Between July 1 and December 1, 2007 food service inspectors will be using the new inspection report, as well as the current inspection form that has been used during the last 10 years. This will give inspectors and restaurant staff an opportunity to become familiar with the new inspection requirements while still using the current form and process.

Public health is working with a broad group to implement the new rules. Restaurant managers and owners need to be knowledgeable about the new requirements. Members of an advisory group formed by public health included regulators, the Georgia Restaurant Association and other restaurant personnel, physicians, and interested Georgians. On July 31, the Georgia Restaurant Association, DHR, and the FDA will be offering training for restaurant personnel in Metro Atlanta.

For more information about Georgia’s new food code including a sample of the new inspection form please visit: http://health.state.ga.us/programs/envservices/index.asp.


For information, contact:
Lisa Moery, 404-463-2299
lsmoery@dhr.state.ga.us